History’s most famously ill-fated ship, the RMS Titanic, sank in the North Atlantic in April 1912, after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage. Nearly 1,500 passengers and crew died in the freezing seas. Since the tragedy, the story has continued to grip the world’s imagination, with all sorts of details and semi-truths becoming part of popular mythology: were there really not enough lifeboats? Did the band really continue to play as the ship sank? Was there really a torrid romance crossing class boundaries and accompanied by a lot of penny-whistle music?
Now there’s a chance to see some of the actual artefacts from the ship, many never displayed before in the UK, and experience the disaster at first hand (in a good way). A new immersive show, ‘Titanic: The Exhibition’ will take visitors on a journey through the commissioning of the ship, and the huge publicity surrounding its first crossing of the Atlantic, bound for New York. Along with firsthand testimonies and objects, there will be detailed recreations of the ship’s interiors, based on contemporary photographs and the input of Titanic experts.
‘Titanic: The Exhibition’ follows other immersive shows in London, such as ‘Van Gogh Alive’, ‘Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’ and ‘Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel’. They maybe suggest a new approach to gallery-going – one in which the traditional show-and-tell becomes something more experiential. It’s pretty nice sitting inside a giant sunflower painting, mind you: whether you want to experience history’s most notorious shipwreck in person may be another thing. In the same vein as those shows, the Titanic exhibition’s whereabouts is yet to be announced, but one thing’s for sure, you don’t need to worry about spoilers.